Saturday, April 23, 2011

Final post before Open Studios: Apr. 30-May 1 noon-6

The studio is readied for a visit. I hope some of you can make it. 13 Spring St. Somerville MA.

Nearby on Central St. is the Somerville Museum, where the Artist´s Choice show is running.

UPDATE... Here is the Youtube video I made of the studio and its contents on the day of Open Studios:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Seriously down a notch, or more expressive?

I know that since my first ever Open Studio event is coming up that I should be thinking like a PR person and posting my most impressive/ serious painting. However today I find myself doing the opposite and posting the results of making art in MS Paint. For anyone who is unfamiliar, this is a clunky old program that every Microsoft user has but almost no one uses. Today I found myself feeling trapped at work and cranky for not being able to be at home painting or outside on this fine day. So I took some time (with the defense that cheering myself up would make the rest of my work day more productive) with MS Paint, which I find a rather liberating exercise, actually. Sometimes I think my paintings lack expressiveness because I exert too much control over the paint. Well, that is impossible to do in MS Paint. Enjoy.

(Note: all of these were drawn/ painted using a mouse, except for the most recent [the yellow person] I used a pen version of the mouse.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Preservation of Art: Framing Hardware

One of the most baffling things I came across once I started framing canvas was what hardware to use. Until I took a class on Care of Paintings I just hobbled things together with nails and staples. Frames themselves are a great start as they protect the canvas. Even if not noticed right away, banging canvases around will cause eventual mechanical damage to the paint layers. I was kind of mortified when I learned this, and I now treat canvases very differently.

For those of you who would like to see your work or work you collect survive beyond your generation (or even beyond next Tuesday) here is the skinny on hardware.

For framing canvases you will need offset clips of varying sizes. These will be screwed into the back to keep the canvas flush with the frame. Second you will need ring hangers which are essentially d-rings with a sturdy metal tag that screw onto both sides of the back of the frame about 1/8 of the way down. Do not be tempted to use just one at the top, or to use screw-eyes, as you risk them pulling out, sending your painting crashing to the floor. So that means using 4 to 8 offset clips per canvas and two ring hangers. Between the hangers string hanging wire that is the proper gauge. The package will reveal how heavy the wire is gauged for. Wrap the wire around itself after threading it through the ring hangers.

Here are all of the hardware pieces I just mentioned. OOK is not the only manufacturer, but is more commonly available at art and hardware stores.
Here is how they should be installed. For a heavy frame use larger ring hangers that have two screw holes instead of one.

These are examples of OOK products that are not appropriate for canvases with significant frames. Sawtooths and prongs are meant for objects of a lighter weight. The heaviest object I would hang with prongs would be foam core. I would not use a sawtooth on anything heavier than an 8 x 10 framed photograph or drawing.

These items may also be useful to you. Picture hooks are great because they do not leave a large hole in the wall, but use two if the object is large or heavy. I prefer putting screws in the wall where there is a stud because I like the security. Moulding hooks are made specifically for houses that already have picture moulding usually set about a foot from the ceiling. So what some people mistake for decoration is actually a useful method of hanging pictures. The hooks come in different shapes, as they are meant to match the profile of the moulding exactly. Glazier points are those pesky little pointy things that keep the backing of glass picture frames for drawings or prints intact. Removing them is a pain, unless they are the type that bend upward for installing the work.

I hope this was a helpful guide. Please let me know if there are any questions.